3-year-old boy dies after he’s left in car on University of Southern Indiana campus

U.S. NEWS 3-year-old boy dies after he's left in car on University of Southern Indiana campus https://linewsradio.com/3-year-old-boy-dies-after-hes-left-in-car-on-university-of-southern-indiana-campus/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) — A 3-year-old boy died after he was left in a car at an Indiana college campus on an “excessively hot” day, the sheriff said.

Deputies responded to the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville at about 1:45 p.m. Tuesday for reports of an unresponsive toddler, according to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office.

Oliver Dill, who had been left in a car on campus for several hours by a parent, was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities said.

The temperature climbed to 90 degrees in Evansville Tuesday with a heat index — or what it feels like — of 94 degrees. The cause of death has not been determined, according to the Vanderburgh County Coroner.

Investigators do not believe there was malice and do not expect charges, though prosecutors will make the final determination, according to the sheriff.

University of Southern Indiana president Dr. Ronald S. Rochon said in a letter to the school community on Tuesday, “As a parent and the president of the University of Southern Indiana, I am deeply saddened to inform you of the tragic death of a young child as a result of being left in a parked car on our campus.”

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of this young child. This is a loss no parent should bear,” Rochon said. “If you have a child in your life, please hug them tight and remember that counseling services are available if you need them.”

This marks the 19th child to die in a potential hot car case so far this year, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.

Hot car deaths reached a record last year with at least 52 children killed, according to KidsAndCars.org.

“It is beyond devastating knowing that solutions exist to detect the presence of a child inside a vehicle and yet children continue to die because these technologies aren’t being included as standard equipment in all vehicles,” KidsAndCars.org Director Amber Rollins told ABC News via email on Wednesday. “The Hot Cars Act would require such technology and is a critical step in eradicating hot car fatalities.”

“Nobody believes a hot car tragedy could happen to them or their family. No amount of education or awareness is going to change this,” Rollins said. “Technological solutions exist to detect the presence of a child or animal inside a hot car and stop these needless deaths and injuries. What are we waiting for?”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

In survey, nearly half of vets say Trump doesn’t listen to military leaders enough

Political News In survey, nearly half of vets say Trump doesn't listen to military leaders enough https://linewsradio.com/in-survey-nearly-half-of-vets-say-trump-doesnt-listen-to-military-leaders-enough/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

Bumblee_Dee/iStock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump draws stronger support from U.S. veterans than from the general American public on his leadership of the U.S. military, including his handling of North Korea, NATO allies and Russia, according to a new Pew Research Center survey released Wednesday.

But nearly half of the veterans surveyed believe the president has not listened to military leaders enough when it comes to national security decisions.

Pew’s findings came from two surveys: one of over 1,200 U.S. military veterans and another of over 1,000 U.S. adults. Both surveys were conducted throughout the month of May, prior to the increased tensions between the U.S. and Iran and Trump’s decision to not strike inside Iran in response to that country shooting down a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Fifty-seven percent of the veterans who were surveyed said they approve of Trump as commander in chief of the U.S. military, compared to 41 percent of adults in the separate survey. And a majority of those veterans approved of the president’s dealings with North Korea, NATO allies and Russia.

But 45 percent of veterans surveyed said the president listens to military leaders too little, compared to 51 percent of Americans in the second survey. Meanwhile, 50 percent of veterans said the president listens the right amount, compared to 40 percent in the other survey.

Veterans as a group are more likely to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, Pew said. But, Republican veterans are more approving of the president and some of his military policies than Republicans overall.

The surveyed veterans expressed a more positive view than the general public toward three of Trump’s major military policies: sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, withdrawing from the Iran Deal and banning transgender individuals from serving in the military.

More than 50 percent of veterans expressed somewhat or strong approval for these policies, compared to fewer than 50 percent of the adults in the separate survey. And Republican veterans were more approving of these policies than Republicans overall.

The president saw less support around the creation of Space Force, which would be the sixth branch of the U.S. military.

Just 45 percent of veterans strongly or somewhat approved of the idea, compared to just 36 percent of people in the second survey. Only 15 percent of veterans strongly approved of a Space Force, which must still be approved by Congress.

Forty-eight percent of veterans said that Trump respects veterans “a great deal,” compared to 30 percent of adults in the other survey.

However, those figures varied greatly with age and gender. Veterans ages 65 and older, along with male veterans, were more likely to indicate that the president respects veterans a great deal, compared to younger and female veterans. Just 33 percent of female veterans characterized it that way.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

Gene therapy gives people with inherited eye disease a new perspective on life

Heather Hodlin, 25, from San Diego, practices rowing with her teammates in February 2019. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) — For most of her life, Heather Hodlin’s eyesight would fade with the day. By nighttime, she was almost completely blind.

Everything was clearer in the daytime, but still, she struggled — unable to see areas that were shaded by trees or buildings. She could see at night if the lights were on inside her home, but they remained fuzzy — she still couldn’t make out the features on her fiance’s face or the color of his eyes.

Regardless of the time of day, Hodlin, 25, used to have to tap her foot in front of her to prevent herself from falling or colliding with objects. She also has a guide dog named Luna who helps her navigate everyday life.

“I’ve been told all my life [that] my vision is going to go,” Hodlin told Nightline, adding that she feared the day that she would go completely blind. “It’s happening and I get really scared.”

Watch ABC News’ Bob Woodruff’s full report on Nightline TONIGHT at 12:35 a.m. ET on ABC.

Hodlin has Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare genetic disease that typically affects the retina and begins in infancy, causing severe visual impairment that experts say deteriorates slowly over time. It occurs in two to three out of 100,000 newborns, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Hodlin and her guide dog Luna were often spotted walking around the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus, where she had studied for a bachelors degree and participated in rowing. Hodlin said she has always wanted to be an astrophysicist. However, activities such as stargazing have become increasingly difficult as her vision has worsened.

But there is hope for Hodlin and others who deal with the congenital disease.

In March 2018, Hodlin said her father called to tell her that he had been watching the news where they had reported on the first FDA-approved gene therapy for patients with inherited retinal disease, called Luxturna.

LCA is caused by mutations in both copies of a particular gene that allows people to see properly. The therapy works by introducing a functional copy of these genes to patients’ retinal cells, which allows them to function properly.

Hodlin said she didn’t initially think the new treatment was for her disease, but that she learned it was for the group of retinal diseases for which her LCA is included after reading more about it.

“I kept looking and I was really nervous, but I got on the phone with my eye doctor at UCSD to figure out if it was for me,” she said.

Doctors first had to determine if Hodlin had a form of LCA that could be treated by Luxturna, which only works on people with mutations in the RPE65 gene. So, Hodlin underwent genetic testing in spring 2018, and three weeks later, she received the email that would change her life forever.

“I was reading [the results] and I read RPE65, and then I just started bawling my eyes out crying,” Hodlin said of the moment she learned that she was a candidate for Luxturna. “I was trembling. I was so happy.”

Dr. Aaron Naigel, of the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA), is one of the few doctors in the United States qualified to perform the gene therapy, which requires an injection administered by a surgeon experienced in intraocular surgery. The hospital is one of only eight in the country that are allowed to deliver the treatment.

The treatment requires two separate operations: one eye is treated the first week and the second eye is treated the following week. The entire treatment with recovery time could take up to six months.

“We make small incisions on the front part of the eye, go into the eye [and] clean out the vitreous gel, which is this gel-like substance that fills the eye,” Naigel told Nightline. “We then use a very fine needle to deliver a small amount of medicine underneath the retina.”

Naigel said that there’s no room for error when performing the surgery because the retina is only a quarter of a millimeter thick. Any mistake could result in permanent damage to the retina, he said.

“Even a small [hand] tremor can make a big difference in delivering this medicine in the right location,” Naigel said.

There are varying levels of success to the treatment, Naigel said, with younger patients often showing the best results since the disease has had less time to progress.

At least 37 people received Luxturna treatment in 2018 and a majority of them saw improvements within a month, Naigel said.

One of those patients is 6-year-old Monroe Le, who was diagnosed with LCA when she was 3. Since she received treatment from Naigel in 2018, she has seen massive improvements in her quality of life, according to her mother, Heather Le.

Le told Nightline that when the family went on a recent trip to Disneyland, it was like the little girl was seeing it all for the first time.

“It’s like it’s a new place,” Le said. “She sees things for the very first time that have been here for years and years, so it’s such a special experience.”

Hodlin’s surgery took place in December 2018 at CHLA. She said it went off without a hitch but that the initial results worried her. In the first few days after the operation, she said that her vision became worse than ever — it was blurrier than before she had the surgery and her depth-of-field was practically nonexistent. Hodlin said she began to question whether it was worth getting the treatment.

Within weeks, however, Hodlin said her vision improved beyond expectation. She said her sight is still far from perfect but that she now notices details she never could before — from the red light blinking on a smoke detector in her bedroom to the white foam atop the ocean’s waves at night. The aspiring astrophysicist said she even recently saw her first star through a telescope.

That said, Hodlin and other Luxturna patients are expected to see their doctors for routine check-ups as the treatment is still relatively new and experts are unsure how long the results will last or if they are permanent.

Christian Guardino was 12 years old when his mother volunteered him to be one of the first patients to undergo the treatment during a clinical trial with Luxturna’s creators, Drs. Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire.

“I think some of my first memories of blindness and really knowing that I had a problem was when I was maybe around 4 or 5 years old,” Guardino, who is now 19 years old, told Nightline. “My cousins would always play outside. Even at nighttime, they’d play things like manhunt, running around, doing whatever kids do and I remember not being able to do that.”

Guardino said that, before the treatment, he couldn’t navigate outdoors once the sun went down.

“I would have to sit inside with light,” Guardino said. “Or if it was an outdoor party, I’d have to sit outside next to my parents.”

Guardino, who underwent the surgery when he was 13, said one of the first things he remembered was “seeing my parents face in detail…that was pretty incredible.”

Guardino told Nightline that he tries to forget what life was like before Luxturna but added that his poor vision inspired an early passion for music.

“I’ve been singing for my whole entire life — that’s all I remember,” Guardino recalled. “I didn’t have good eyesight, but…I could hear music, and music was so important to me.”

In 2017, Guardino competed in America’s Got Talent, where he earned the “Golden Buzzer” from judge Howie Mandel. The show often referenced Guardino’s story, telling viewers how he was one of the first to undergo the gene therapy.

Guardino has also performed several times at the iconic Apollo Theater in New York City, and recently, he teamed up with country music singer and songwriter Hunter Hayes for help on his latest single, “Waiting,” which was released in March 2019.

“I feel blessed,” Guardino told Nightline. “You know, I wanted to forget what it was like before the gene therapy, because now I’m so lucky to have what I have. I work to use all the sight that I have today. I’m lucky to have all the vision that I have today.”

While Luxturna sounds like a dream come true for those suffering from LCA, the treatment comes with a hefty price tag.

“We announced a list price of $425,000 per vial and there is a vial required for each eye,” said Jeff Marrazzo, CEO of Spark Therapeutics, which bought Luxturna in its infancy.

Marrazzo told Nightline that although it’s expensive, patients with health insurance often pay only a fraction of the price. None of the patients interviewed by “Nightline” paid the full price for their treatment.

Hodlin said that she continues to see improvement in her vision.

“I don’t want my vision to stop me from doing anything,” Hodlin said. “It’s not going to stop me. I don’t want to miss out on anything. I want to have just as much fun as everybody else. I just want to enjoy it…enjoy life.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Michelle Obama, more stars share emotional tributes to Disney star Cameron Boyce

U.S. NEWS Michelle Obama, more stars share emotional tributes to Disney star Cameron Boyce https://linewsradio.com/michelle-obama-more-stars-share-emotional-tributes-to-disney-star-cameron-boyce/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

LA/Disney Channel via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A slew of emotional tributes from friends and former co-stars of late Disney star Cameron Boyce have come in since his passing on Saturday.

The 20-year-old’s sudden death was due to a seizure as a result of an ongoing condition that has been identified by his family as epilepsy.

Late Disney actor spoke about leaving ‘behind something bigger than’ ourselves.

“I was lucky enough to share a few moments with Cameron Boyce — on set, at the White House, and on a service project — enough time to recognize that not only did he have incredible talent, but also an incredible heart,” she wrote.

“Sending out a lot of love and hugs to his family, friends, and his many, many fans,” she added.

Obama guest starred on the Disney Channel show Jessie with Boyce in 2014.

Boyce shared the same photo of the pair in January 2018 in a birthday post to Obama. He wrote about his experiences with the former first lady in a lengthy caption.

“The one word I think best describes her is REAL,” Boyce wrote about Obama. He also shared some of his favorite moments with her.

“The first was from the time she was gracious enough to come on our show Jessie,” he said.

“Our set dec[orator] man had walked behind her in order in curl some balloon ribbons with a pair of scissors. Of course the secret service men that accompanied her were in between them in .5 seconds lol… to which she responded ‘Chilllllllll guys. He’s just doing his job!'”

Along with Obama, several of Boyce’s co-stars and close friends paid tribute to him on social media.

Dove Cameron, who starred with Boyce in Disney’s Descendants movies, posted a video message sharing special words about her friend.

“Over the last six years, since he was only 14, Cameron talked me down from countless edges, talked me through eating disorders, helped me out of a dark relationship and through endless breakdowns,” she shared, moved to tears. “He would whisper the dance moves to me on live television when I didn’t know what I was doing or hold my hand quietly to communicate wordlessly when we both knew we were thinking the same thing.”

“He was magnanimous and arguably a true philanthropist at only 20, beloved by anyone who had been lucky enough to experience his light and indescribable energy,” she added. “Cameron was the ultimate example of a human being.”

Skai Jackson, Boyce’s Jessie co-star, called him “one of a kind” in her post.

“I am so happy that I got to spend almost every day with you on set, you gave the best hugs,” she wrote. “I wish I would have hugged you tighter when I saw you a couple of months ago.”

Jackson also shared a video of him singing “I’ll Be There.”

It’s been viewed more than 12 million times.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

Appeals court sides with President Trump, dismisses lawsuit involving his DC hotel

Political News Appeals court sides with President Trump, dismisses lawsuit involving his DC hotel https://linewsradio.com/appeals-court-sides-with-president-trump-dismisses-lawsuit-involving-his-dc-hotel/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/politics-news/

AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images(WASHINGTON) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday handed President Donald Trump a legal victory, dismissing a lawsuit accusing the president of illegally profiting from his Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., by accepting money from foreign governments.

The attorneys general from Maryland and the District of Columbia had brought the case, arguing that the president violated a constitutional clause that prohibits elected officials from doing business with foreign governments without permission from Congress.

But an appeals court panel ruled the attorneys general lacked standing to bring the lawsuit.

Reacting to the decision, President Trump tweeted, “Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt.”

Earlier this year, a federal district court in Maryland had allowed the lawsuit to move forward.

But on Wednesday, a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals criticized the Maryland district court judge’s ruling as “so attenuated and abstract that their prosecution of this case readily provokes the question of whether this action against the President is an appropriate use of the courts.”

The appeals court decision marks the first legal victory for President Trump as his legal team fights legal challenges on several fronts.

In a statement on Wednesday, Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president, hailed the appeals court ruling as “a complete victory.”

“The decision states that there was no legal standing to bring this lawsuit in the first place,” Sekulow continued. “This latest effort at Presidential harassment has been dismissed with prejudice.“

Earlier this week, in a separate emoluments case, congressional Democrats began issuing subpoenas as part of the discovery process in their case. Justice Department attorneys representing President Trump asked the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to intervene and halt the “extraordinary case,” as they called it.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

8-year-old applauded for asking to report on aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman instead of Amelia Earhart

U.S. NEWS 8-year-old applauded for asking to report on aviation pioneer Bessie Coleman instead of Amelia Earhart https://linewsradio.com/8-year-old-applauded-for-asking-to-report-on-aviation-pioneer-bessie-coleman-instead-of-amelia-earhart/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(NEW YORK) — When 8-year-old Noa Lewis was assigned a school project on Amelia Earhart, she flipped the script and asked instead to report on Bessie Coleman, who was the first female African American and Native American pilot.

Noa and her second-grade class were given the assignment to create and be a part of a “wax museum,” with each student embodying their assigned historical figure. Noa had originally been assigned Amelia Earhart, the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

“Noa knew about Amelia Earhart but she told her teacher she wanted another figure but couldn’t remember the name,” Moniqua Lewis, Noa’s mother, told Good Morning America.

Lewis was picking up her daughter from school when Noa told her mom about the project and about how she wanted to report on a person who was once featured in her favorite Disney show, Doc McStuffins. Lewis was naming names, trying to help her daughter remember who it was.

It turns out it was Bessie Coleman, or “Queen Bessie,” as Noa refers to her. Coleman was the first female African American and Native American to hold a pilot’s license.

Lewis saw how passionate Noa was about Bessie Coleman, so as Noa’s teacher was exiting the school, she asked her if her daughter could instead report on Coleman.

“My job is to support my child,” Lewis said. Luckily, Noa’s teacher agreed.

Noa dove right into researching Coleman, gathering books from the library and articles from the internet, but a lot of books were “too hard” for the 8-year-old to read, Lewis told Good Morning America.

So Noa and her mother reached out to the National Aviation Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame to find out some additional information about Coleman to complete her project.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame and National Women’s Hall of Fame responded to Lewis, giving Noa articles that matched her second-grade reading level, and Noa excitedly absorbed all the information she could about “Queen Bessie.”

As part of the project, Noa had to dress up as Bessie Coleman to be part of the “wax museum.”

So Noa donned a white dress blouse topped with a green trench jacket, along with brown casual dress trousers and high-top black boots.

“My best friends were Georgia O’keeffe and Nancy Reagan,” Noa told Good Morning America, doing her very best Coleman impression.

For all of Noa’s hard work and willingness to report on Coleman, the National Aviation Hall of Fame Museum decided to fly Noa and her family to the museum in Dayton, Ohio. There she got the privilege to meet a relative of her hero.

Bessie Coleman’s great-niece, Gigi Coleman, greeted her when she arrived and awarded Noa a medallion for her outstanding project.

Gigi Coleman has a one-woman show dedicated to portraying the legacy of her Great-Aunt Bessie Coleman. She also runs a 501(c)3 program, The Bessie Coleman Aviation All-Stars, to encourage disadvantaged youth to learn about career opportunities in the field of aviation.

After meeting Coleman and learning even more about her hero, Noa also got to have a private closed tour of the facility.

“I was so happy when Gigi Coleman put the medal around my neck,” Noa said. She says she was even more excited when Coleman called her “Little Bessie.”

As a token of appreciation, Noa drew a portrait of Bessie Coleman and gifted it to Gigi Coleman.

After all her hard work, Noa ended up receiving an “A” on the project at North Cobb Christian School.

“Noa is an overachiever! When you’re assigned homework, it’s homework — but when you are in love with something and have a passion for it, it is much more,” Lewis said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

Razi, 10-year-old African lion diagnosed with epilepsy, dies at Pittsburgh Zoo

U.S. NEWS Razi, 10-year-old African lion diagnosed with epilepsy, dies at Pittsburgh Zoo https://linewsradio.com/razi-10-year-old-african-lion-diagnosed-with-epilepsy-dies-at-pittsburgh-zoo/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

Pittsburgh Zoo(PITTSBURGH) — A 10-year-old African lion at the Pittsburgh Zoo has died after he suffered a grand mal seizure, zoo veterinarians announced Wednesday.

Razi was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy in 2013 and was placed on anti-seizure medication, according to a release from the zoo obtained by ABC News. After Razi suffered a seizure on Sunday, he fell and fractured his jaw, and vets determined it was not in the lion’s best interest to attempt the difficult surgery needed.

In addition, it would have been difficult for the 500-pound lion to maintain a good quality of life as he recovered from the surgery, given his increased seizure rate, according to the zoo.

Idiopathic epilepsy is a “very rare” condition in lions, and Razi was otherwise healthy before he was diagnosed, the release states. His treatment plan allowed for him to keep his seizures at a controlled level without affecting changes to his liver, which can be a side effect of the medication.

Razi would even allow vets to obtain blood samples from his tail every couple of months so they could check his medication and serum function, Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, the zoo’s director of animal health, who also described Razi as an “amazing cat,” said in the release.

“It’s so hard for all of us at the zoo to lose an animal we have cared so deeply for but we try to remember all of the good memories and positive impact that he had on our zoo visitors,” Sturgeon said.

Razi’s brother, Ajani, still lives at the zoo, Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo, said in the release. The pair arrived at the zoo in 2012 and have been “inseparable” over the years.

“It is a sad day for all of us,” Baker said. “Our animals are like members of our family and losing a family member is tough. Razi was a magnificent animal, and will also be missed by our visitors who developed a bond with him and his brother Ajani.”

Zookeepers will keep a close eye on Ajani during this transition time, according to the release.

The African lion species is currently classified as “vulnerable,” with just 20,000 left in the wild, according to the zoo. Their populations have decreased by almost 40% due to loss of habitat, illegal wildlife trade and conflict with humans.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

Duchesses Kate and Meghan brings kids to watch Princes William and Harry play polo

WORLD NEWS Duchesses Kate and Meghan brings kids to watch Princes William and Harry play polo  https://linewsradio.com/duchesses-kate-and-meghan-brings-kids-to-watch-princes-william-and-harry-play-polo/  http://abcnewsradioonline.com/world-news/

Samir Hussein/WireImage(BERKSHIRE, England) — The next generation of royals — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis and royal baby Archie – turned out in full force Wednesday to watch their dads, Princes William and Harry, compete at a charity polo match.

Archie’s mom, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, was photographed holding her 2-month-old son and giving him a kiss on the head. It marks the first time Archie has been spotted publicly since Meghan and Prince Harry debuted him to the world in May, just days after his birth.

The last public photos of Archie were released just last week after his private christening.

Archie’s cousins, George, 5, Charlotte, 4 and Louis, 1, joined their mom, Duchess Kate, to watch their dad, Prince William — and their uncle, Harry — play at the King Power Royal Charity Polo Day at Billingbear Polo Club in Berkshire, England.

The event marked the first time the cousins have been seen together publicly. William and Kate met their nephew, Archie, in mid-May at Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor.

It also marks the third time in recent weeks that William and Kate’s children have made appearances. The siblings attended Trooping the Colour last month and also joined their parents in May at the “Back to Nature” garden Kate helped design at the RHS Chelsea Flower show.

Meghan has been on maternity leave since Archie’s birth, but stepped out for Trooping the Colour in June and made a private visit to Wimbledon last week to support her friend Serena Williams.

Harry and William are playing against each other in the charity match in honor of Leicester City chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who was killed in a helicopter crash last year.

The charity match will help raise money for charities supported by Harry and William, including the Invictus Games Foundation.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

Actor Rip Torn dies at age 88

Entertainment News  Actor Rip Torn dies at age 88 https://linewsradio.com/actor-rip-torn-dies-at-age-88/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/entertainment-news/

 

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc(LAKEVILLE, CT) — Rip Torn, whose prolific acting career included an Emmy-winning role as Artie, the producer on TV’s The Larry Sanders Show, and Z in the first two Men in Black movies, died peacefully Tuesday at his home in Lakeville, Connecticut, according to his rep. He was 88.

Torn also appeared on Broadway, most notably in Tennessee Williams’ Sweet Bird of Youth, opposite Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, the latter of whom he’d later marry. An up and down film career included 1965’s Cincinnati Kid and 1983’s Cross Creek, before landing a star turn as defense attorney Bob Diamond in Albert Brooks’ 1991 film Defending Your Life.

In all, Torn appeared in over 200 films. He leaves behind five children by Page and his other two wives, actresses Ann Wedgeworth and Amy Wright.

Following news of his passing, Will Smith and Alec Baldwin were among the celebrities mourning the actor on social media.

Smith who starred with Torn in the Men in Black films, posted a photo of the two of them on Instagram and wrote, “R.I.P Rip.”

Baldwin, who worked with Torn on 30 Rock, called him a “deeply committed, phenomenal actor.”

“See you down the road, Rip,” he added. “You wonderful madman.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Posted On 10 Jul 2019

As Lee Iacocca is laid to rest, an ABC News producer recalls a historic ‘Nightline’ appearance

U.S. NEWS As Lee Iacocca is laid to rest, an ABC News producer recalls a historic 'Nightline' appearance https://linewsradio.com/as-lee-iacocca-is-laid-to-rest-an-abc-news-producer-recalls-a-historic-nightline-appearance/ http://abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/

iStock(TROY, Mich.) — Longtime auto executive Lee Iacocca will be buried in Troy, Michigan, on Wednesday following a funeral mass in nearby Bloomfield Hills. When the bulletins began filling up my inbox last week, reporting that Iacocca had died at 94, I was instantly transported back to one memorable afternoon in Washington in 1991.

At the time, I was in charge of wrangling guests for Ted Koppel’s Nightline. Weeks earlier, I had gotten a tip that the chief executives of the Big Three automakers would be meeting together at the White House, presumably to lobby President George H.W. Bush for federal help in turning around an industry that looked to be in a death spiral.

In the first three quarters of 1991, the top three American auto firms — GM, Ford and Chrysler — had posted a combined $4.9 billion in losses. Plants were closing, and tens of thousands of auto jobs were being eliminated. Americans were buying more and more cars from Japan, and the only possible relief for U.S. automakers would come from the government.

If the three honchos from Detroit could come together to plead their case at the White House, I thought why not make a joint appearance on one of the most influential network television programs?

Easier said than done. When I asked reporters who regularly covered the auto industry about my chances of bringing the Big Three bosses on Nightline, they assured me it would never happen.

That’s all the incentive I needed to prove them wrong. So tapping into whatever persuasive skills I could muster, I approached each of the auto giants. But the corporate communications folks just wouldn’t bite. It was clearly unorthodox for the Big Three to go to the White House on a joint mission to save their industry. But for three fierce industrial competitors to make a joint appearance on national television, that was something else again.

As their White House meeting drew closer, and as the idea of lobbying the consumer directly became more attractive, Ford finally agreed to the Nightline request. And then Chrysler followed suit. Two down, one to go. The only hope I had of having GM participate was personal lobbying. So I flew to Detroit and made my case to a room full of General Motors executives — all men, as I recall — seated around a long table. Shortly after I returned to Washington, GM signed on.

Since I didn’t cover the auto industry, I didn’t fully appreciate how unusual the scene was outside the ABC News bureau in downtown Washington that June 1991 afternoon when we taped the broadcast. I was waiting as three chauffeur-driven cars carrying the CEOs pulled up. GM Chairman Robert Stempel emerged from the Cadillac Fleetwood, Ford Chairman Harold “Red” Poling from the Lincoln Town Car and Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca from his Chrysler Imperial.

On the broadcast, the three men refuted the oft-heard claim that the American automakers were suffering because the quality of their cars was inferior to the imports. And they railed against the Japanese, whom Iacocca accused of unfairly dumping Toyota minivans into this country.

The next morning I was stunned to read USA Today’s account of my coup. In a bit of hyperbole, the paper said I “might as well have been planning a superpower summit” in landing Stempel, Poling and Iacocca for the first-ever joint interview among the Big Three auto execs.

A few months later in a column in the Los Angeles Times, Iacocca described the one-hour Nightline as an “unusual, almost unnatural act.” Iacocca explained why it hadn’t been done up until then, saying that “Big Three executives have grown up with the fear that if they happen to pass each other on the street, the Justice Department will start an antitrust investigation.”

Of the three auto executives who sat down with Koppel, Iacocca was the only true celebrity, having written a bestselling autobiography and having been instrumental in the creation of the Ford Mustang and Chrysler minivan. He saved Chrysler from bankruptcy and famously appeared in company TV ads, saying, “If you can find a better car, buy it.” There was even talk of Iacocca running for president.

It’s been nearly 30 years since that day when Iacocca, Poling and Stempel occupied ABC’s green room. And as I recall, they easily made small talk and tried to act as though it was normal for three cutthroat competitors to spend time together.

Among the three executives who appeared on Nightline that evening, Iacocca was the last survivor. He said he liked to keep his distance from his competitors, but occasionally found himself alongside rivals away from the corporate boardroom, in the oddest of places.

Once, on a hunting trip in Canada, when Iacocca was president of Ford and Ed Cole was president of General Motors, the two men found themselves in the same duck blind.

“I guess the average person would logically think that if two guys shared the same duck blind, they must be close pals,” Iacocca wrote. “We weren’t. We were tough, friendly competitors. We spent most of our professional lives trying to bury each other. Whenever Ed stood up to shoot that day, I rooted for the ducks.”

I only met Iacocca that one memorable day in 1991. But he was one of those rare figures I’ve encountered over the years who instantly commands the room he’s in.

I’m guessing that one of Iacocca’s oft-mentioned quotes likely proved true: “My father always used to say that when you die, if you’ve got five real friends, then you’ve had a great life.”

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Posted On 10 Jul 2019